The Saudi Ministry of Housing has licensed 60 Saudi firms to sell land plots and housing units online through the Wafi platform as part of its plan to provide 480,000 housing units by 2020, according to The Saudi Gazette.

The Wafi is an online platform established by the Ministry of Housing to offer off-plan sales and leasing, connect and organize relations between developers and experts in the real estate sector, register title deeds, file complaints, and follow-up on services.

The Wafi committee comprises representatives of the ministries of housing, commerce and investment, municipal and rural affairs, and justice. It also includes representatives of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and the private sector.

The Wafi has created partnerships between landowners and real estate developers to be able to start projects quickly. Developers have to deposit 20% of the total value of the property available on Wafi.

However, firms dealing with the Ministry of Housing are allowed to use the deposit in the project.

Mohammad Al-Gazwani, secretary general of the Wafi committee, recently told investors at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the Wafi committee will make sure that developers get refunds, in case a project is ceased. In case of manipulations, the committee will transfer the case to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution, he added.